Friday, April 15, 2005

Clean or play???

Okay here's my question...do I take more time to clean or do I take more time to play??? This is a question that I ask myself all the time!

Here's my situation...I am NOT a neat/clean freak. I WISH like heck I was, but I'm just NOT!! And sometimes having this type of personality just plain stinks!!! There are many, many days where I feel like a failure. I drop my daughter off at a friends house and the father is waxing his truck and the mother is cleaning the sceens. WHAT??? Cleaning the screens??? Are you supposed to do that??? Then on a daily basis I see commercials on TV with mothers who look perfect and have a spotless house!! Who wouldn't feel inadequate???

And when someone comes over or drops by I get easily embarrassed. Actually, for the most part the living room is not too bad. I have been able to maintain control over that room. And I do make it a point to clean the kitchen and bathroom regularly. The problem in our house is clutter. There is just lots of stuff laying around the house. Lots of papers from school, unopened mail, toys, balls, legos, barbie clothes, board games, etc...anyone with young kids will understand how it is.

Despite all of this stuff laying around and the negative feelings I sometimes experience I do believe I am on the right track with my family and my life.

Yesterday I had an overwhelming feeling that helped put all of this into focus. I was sitting in my van waiting for my daughter to finish softball practice. It was about 7:30 p.m. and the sun was setting. It would have been a beautiful sight, but I couldn't truly enjoy the view because the windows on my van were filthy!! Seeing the dirty windows got me worked up. The tape started playing in my head...WHY, OH WHY can't I just get it together???!! Why can't I make cleaning more of a priority???

After about 3-4 minutes of putting myself down I really examined that question.

Let's see...

Okay, first of all I have 3 kids aged 10, 9 and 6 all of whom have hectic schedules...softball practice, t-ball practice, scrimmages, friends to invite over, homework, school programs, field trips, bath time, dinner time...need I go on???

Secondly, I have a business where I work from home. I have portraits to draw, name signs, tote bags and t-shirt orders to paint. This is a priority because it helps to make money so I can help put food on the table, pay bills, etc. Plus having my business gives me a sense of self...I get to do what I love and, at the same time, I am contributing to the well being of my family.

Next, I have my kids who not only want time to play and hang out with their friends and do their own thing, but they also want time with me.

Last night while my daughter was at practice my boys wanted me to go outside with them and jump on the trampoline. What am I supposed to do??? Do I say, "NO! I have to clean!!" Or do I say "Sure!!" and then proceed out the door to jump around and laugh with my boys???

Well, I chose to go outside and have fun with my boys! I was out there getting some exercise and laughing with my kids. I was talking with my 10 year old who is JUST BEGINNING to pull away from me. He is getting to that age where he still loves me (although he won't admit it most of the time) but he is starting to be embarrassed by me. You know...those pre-teen years. So when he excitedly invites me to go outside and join him and his younger brother on the trampoline...honey I'm there!

After jumping around and talking and laughing for about 15-20 minutes I just laid on the trampoline with my boys and we looked up at the beautiful blue sky. We talked about the moon and how it get it's light. While looking at the moon we decided that it REALLY DOES look like swiss cheese. We saw a few jet airplanes in the sky and we discussed how they looked like rockets. Then we said that someday when there are puffy white clouds in the sky we will come outside and lay there again and find pictures in the clouds.

So there you have it...

My house may not be clean, there are piles of clutter in most corners, the windows on my van are dirty, there is a huge pile of laundry to do, dirty dishes in the sink, etc...

My reaction is "So what???" I choose to laugh and play with my kids and enjoy them while they are young. My oldest son will be 11 in a few months and the time has absolutely flown by!!

When I am an old woman I want to be able to look back on my life and know that my kids have happy memories of their childhood. I don't want to look back and say with pride that my house was spotless and clean!

So if you ever happen to stop by my house you will see clutter and dirty windows, but right there inside you will see 3 kids with smiling faces, happy hearts and happy memories!

See ya later...I have to make my way through the clutter to get to the trampoline!!

Happy day!!
Jane

1 comment:

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